The company said that it would not comment on 'rumours' in the press and would make a statement only when a final agreement on the divestment package has been reached. Rhodia said in October that it is hoping to raise €700 million through the sale of non-core assets by the end of next year, and was assessing businesses with a value of €1.3 billion.
Pharmaceuticals remains a core focus for the group and is not thought to be involved in the divestment deliberations. Indeed, at the CPhI meeting earlier this year, the group made a point of confirming its commitment to the Rhodia Pharma Solutions business, unveiling a new US facility for its development services division.
An article in Le Figaro said that the company's management had completed several weeks of studies aimed at drawing up a list of disposable assets. The newspaper noted that BNP Paribas has been mandated to sell the company's silicon operations with annual sales of around €400 million, while Credit Lyonnais has been asked to find a buyer for certain elements in the company's food and additives division.
Rhodia said "speculation regarding the effect on the group's business portfolio during a process such as this is normal".
The company is selling assets to help bring down debt of €2.13 billion. Talks with its banks on renegotiating covenants on the debt are due to be concluded by the end of the year.